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Israel Update 7.11.19


Gazans launched ten rockets at Israel last Friday evening. Eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system. A house in Sderot was hit and several vehicles were damaged. In response to the attack, Israel struck a wide range of Hamas targets in Gaza. Israel holds Hamas, the ruling power, responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza. Read more here


On Thursday night (31/10) a rocket had been fired from Gaza that hit an open area. In response, IDF fired a tank barrage at a Hamas position. The Gaza rocket strike on Friday night that hit an Israeli home was caught on a security camera. The moment of impact can be seen as a brilliant flash of light followed by a mass of sparks. Read more here


A photo of a five-year-old girl from Sderot cowering on the floor of her home in the foetal position as rockets rained down on her community went viral over the weekend, signifying to many the lasting trauma that years of repeated rocket barrages have done to innocents living near the border. View here




Iran announced Tuesday it would start injecting uranium gas into over a thousand centrifuges at its fortified Fordo nuclear facility British Foreign Secretary Raab said that Iran’s actions to reduce commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal “clearly contravene the deal and pose a risk to our national security….” (The EU & Russia also expressed concern) Read more here


IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that Israel’s military has a new front in Iraq and that there are Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds forces in the Golan Heights, “and that’s not fear-mongering, they’re there.” Read more here


The International Atomic Energy Agency’s top inspector, Massimo Aparo, told diplomats in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that Iran is evading attempts to discover the source of uranium particles detected at a warehouse in Tehran earlier this year at a site identified by Israel. Read more here


Iran has been able to successfully embed itself across the Middle East, according to a new 217-page report published Thursday by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. Read more here


Iran has developed a capability to conduct warfare in battlefields across the Middle East through third parties. In recent and ongoing conflicts, this effective force has given Iran a strategic advantage over adversaries reliant on conventional capabilities. Its deployment has encountered no effective international response.    Read more here

And see article by Michael Oren in COMMENT & OPINION section below




Over 5,000 Gazans were demonstrating in several locations along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel last Friday afternoon, with several hundred rioting. They attacked IDF soldiers with improvised explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and rocks. A military vehicle was hit with a firebomb. Read more here




(Following the U.S. pullout) Israel has sent humanitarian aid to the Syrian Kurds. The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister said that Israel’s support for the Kurds was based on “historic ties… [and] shared and varied interests,”adding that “ Kurds are a moderate and pro-Western factor in the Middle East.” Read more here




Palestinian firefighters trained at the Israel Fire and Rescue Academy in Rishon LeZion on Tuesday. They learned new methods to deal with fires in buildings and cars and ways to quickly rescue injured persons in blocked areas. In recent years, Palestinian firefighters have helped Israel battle major fires…the P.A.’s Civil Defence chief and Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services head had met on Sunday. Read more here




NATO has recognized the Israeli Navy as a key medical-assistance partner in the Mediterranean following a drill held last month practicing emergency evacuation of personnel. In the drill, held Oct. 13-23, NATO vessels from the UK, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria simulated medical emergencies at sea with the Israeli Navy. Read more here




Israel called on UNWRA to release in full its findings of alleged mismanagement at the organization, following an announcement that its leader Pierre Krahenbuhl was taking an indefinite leave of absence. Israel’s Foreign Minister  said “The conduct of UNRWA demonstrates it is part of the problem and not the solution. The agency is perpetuating the refugee problem in a clearly political manner and making remote any possibility for a solution,” Read more here




Israel-based UBQ Materials has developed a globally patented process to transform unsorted household waste (including recyclables) – everything from chicken bones to yogurt containers to dirty diapers to mixed-plastics and cardboard – into a bio-based plastic alternative that can be used to produce everyday goods: municipal trash cans, food trays, shopping carts, shipping pallets, piping and flower pots. Read more here and Read more here




Despite the fact that Israel has no diplomatic relations with Gaza, Syria and Iraq, Israeli hospitals treat patients from these places. This year, 80 children from Syria and Iraq were treated. Between 2013 and 2018 Israel admitted 4,000 Syrian refugees to Israeli hospitals. Israel also maintains ties with medical professionals in the Middle East and Africa, training them and guiding them through complex cases. Read more here




Israel-based water generator firm Watergen has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Uzbekistan to provide thousands of Gen-M atmospheric water generators. The Gen-M can make 800 litres of water per day from the air. In recent years, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have built hydro-power dams at the headwaters of the some rivers, undermining Uzbekistan’s main sources of fresh water. Read more here


Residents of El Talento, a small town in northern Colombia are now getting purified drinking water from the air, thanks to GEN-M, a medium-scale atmospheric water generator invented at Israel-based Watergen. Read more here




Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems has won a contract to supply the Portuguese Air Force with an electronics warfare system that includes radar, laser and missile warnings for its KC-390 multi-mission aircraft. Read more here




Moovit, an app that provides real time public transportation schedules, has teamed up with navigation app Waze, to provide a pilot car pooling service in the US, Brazil, Mexico and Israel. Thise partnership will enable commuters in these countries to ride together in an affordable, eco-friendly way. Both firms were founded in  Israel.  Read more here




Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed a robotic arm for use in manufacturing that is able to grasp items of various shapes, thus cutting costs and increasing versatility in production lines. Manufacturers often have to design robots with different arms for every task in order to hold parts of different shapes, which is costly and time consuming. Read more here




In 2015, the Israeli cabinet approved a five-year Economic Development Plan for the Arab Sector with billions of shekels going to transportation, employment, housing, planning and day care. In the last decade, the number of Arabs working in high-tech has increased 18-fold, and one-quarter of them are women…. The proportion of Arab doctors in Israel has climbed  to 15% in 2018…Educational institutions in Arab locales are receiving unprecedented levels of funding. The proportion of Arab civil servants rose from 5.7% in 2007 to 11.3% in 2017. 1/3 of all first-year students at the Technion this year are Arab. Read more here


Many changes are bringing Jerusalem’s Arab society closer to Israeli Jewish society. These include a rise in the demand for Israeli citizenship and in taking Israeli matriculation exams, as well as an increase in the number of Arabs who work in western Jerusalem. Fuad Abu Hamed, who was one of the first Arab Jerusalem (as opposed to Israeli Arab) students at Hebrew University 10 years ago, now lectures in its school of business administration. Read more here




The Israeli Air Force is hosting its biannual Blue Flag aerial exercise, with the F-35 stealth fighter jet taking part in the drill for the first time. The United States, Greece, Germany and Italy — each of whom had participated in previous Blue Flag drills — sent air crews to Israel . Other countries were also planning to send smaller teams as observers. Read more here




One of the most underrated city breaks in the Mediterranean with a marvellous coastline, a growing crop of culinary hotspots and a dynamic and buzzing nightlife scene, Tel Aviv offers many of the same fun features as a city break in a European capital. Read more here


Israel ranks 15th in “Top 20 Countries in the World: Readers’ Choice Awards 2019,” released October 7 by Condé Nast Traveler…Four Jerusalem hotels appear in the “Top 15 Hotels in the Middle East” listing. Read more here




Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren has described in chilling detail how a conflict between Israel and Iran could easily be sparked and descend into a massive conflagration, devastating Israel and other countries in the region. Read more here


Avi Tilonsky:  The dry, factual report (of the rocket attacks on Southern Israel), belies the fact that WE got bombed at Friday night dinner! That thousands of families cower in fear on both sides of a border as rockets glare and bombs are bursting in the air. That babies are scooped up in the middle of the night and carried like footballs to bomb shelters. That Shabbat dinner involves more running than eating.  Read more here


Peggy Shapiro: When a journalist presents all violence committed by Hamas in the passive voice – “Israel hit by rockets” – it leaves the impression that there was no perpetrator. When the same journalist uses the active voice – “Israel carries out strikes” – to describe Israel’s response, it attributes blame to Israel and portrays Israel as the aggressor. Headlining “Soldier dies from gunshot” omits the shooter and implies that no one pulled the trigger. Too many headlines and articles lack explicit reference to an actor unless the actor is Jewish/Israeli. Read more here


Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch: While the Palestinian Authority constantly complains about its financial difficulties… the PA’s own financial records for 2011-2018 shows that they transferred 7 billion shekels to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), some of which was then given to terrorist organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine… In that same period, the PA also spent 440 million shekels to fund non-functioning institutions. The PA Parliament has not met since the last elections in 2006. However, PA financial records show for the years 2011-2018 the PA spent 104,566,000 shekels on its Central Election Committee and 336,746,000 shekels on the PA Legislative Council.  Read more here